National Storytelling Week: My Story

National Storytelling Week: My Story


I’m Dawn the face behind Apparel.

I was born in Leeds and raised in Farsley. I’m very proud to be from Yorkshire. Wherever I go, I leave a little bit of Leeds behind, an Ambassador for God’s own country, no less!

I love everything about Leeds, but fuelled by a love for travel and foreign languages, I joined Her Majesty’s Diplomatic Service in 1989. First living in London, before heading abroad. I lived and worked across the globe. I loved what I did, the amazing opportunities presented to me and the fabulous people I met along the way - two of my closest friends today were there on day one. I got to do a lot, much of it in challenging circumstances. But I loved my job. It made me happy and proud.

And then it stopped being exciting and fun. I missed home, my family and friends and things that I loved. It became a chore and my health and well-being began to suffer. I needed to find “home”, to be surrounded by those who really cared about me and to finally establish roots.

In 2017 I returned to Leeds. I bought a house, car and puppy. My new life had begun. I needed to get myself back on track. A terrible former boss had taught me a lot about what I would no longer accept in my life. That helped me to write a list of what I wanted and, importantly, of what might bring the excitement and fun back to my work.

So.... I took a career break, set myself up in business, opened two shops, made lots of amazing new friends and began to flourish in a wonderfully supportive community.

Through the power of colour and style, I’m now passionately empowering women to sparkle with confidence and to look and feel their absolute best selves every single day.

I’m so happy to be home. I have everything and more I need right here 💜

What are we all about?

Colour. Style. Confidence.

I strongly believe women should have the confidence to look and feel their absolute best selves every single day. I passionately empower them to do just that through a range of services.

Apparel is an independent ladies boutique selling quality contemporary clothing and accessories at affordable prices.

Each piece is lovingly selected with the greatest of care and consideration to ensure we meet our customers’ needs.

We are proud stockists of the much-loved English brand Sugarhill Brighton, the stylish Soya Concept from Copenhagen and a gorgeous denim collection from leading UK sustainable brand, Monkee Genes.

We love to shop small, as do many of our customers, so are delighted to bring you beautiful products from a talented bunch of Yorkshire based designers.

We’re so much more than a destination to buy clothes. You won’t want to miss out on our personal styling, wardrobe edits & colour analysis services to ensure you sparkle with confidence every single day.

Colour. Style. Confidence.


What’s my why?

Whilst shopping on the high street I’d find so many of the more affordable shops to be really samey and uninspiring. I’d regularly leave empty handed. Not great for a lover of shopping!

One of the reasons I founded my business was to address that. What we sell in Apparel won’t be found in every second boutique.

Each of our pieces is lovingly selected with great care and consideration to ensure we meet our customers’ needs and offer that better choice. This is a concept which has evolved as we’ve got to really know our customer base.

Society often makes women feel inadequate about themselves - needing to look a certain way, having a certain body shape, being ashamed of their age. The pressure is unrelenting. Social media itself is massively guilty of this.

I help women to find their sparkle, feel good about themselves at any age and give them a little spring in their step. Bringing style, colour and confidence into their lives makes me feel bloody fantastic!

We should all feel fantastic every single day.


When do we do our thing?

Pretty much whenever you want!

We’re available online 24/7. 

The shop is closed on Sundays & Mondays, but our services are available by appointment on both days 💜

We try to be as flexible as possible, within reason, to meet our customers’ needs.

And where do we do it?

We’re based on Farsley Town Street (opposite the Co-Op) and online.

How do we do what we do?

I’ve a good eye for what does, and more importantly, doesn’t look good on and for seasonal trends. I use this when buying.

I embrace adding colour to your wardrobe. I can help you sparkle. I do this through our colour analysis service.

I can help you make your current wardrobe work for you. I do this through our wardrobe edit service.

I can help you make wiser, more sustainable purchases. I do this through our personal shopper service.

We offer personalised customer service at an exceptional level, listening to our customers’ needs, which allows us to deliver above and beyond expectations. We quickly earn customers’ trust and put them at ease - you’d be surprised at how stressful clothes shopping can be for many. We’re completely non-judgemental serving a range of sizes and age. And we also very much welcome our male customers.

Hope you’ve enjoyed a snap shot of my story. We’ve lots more to add….💜

Dawn x


So glad you came home and set up shop in our lovely little village. Even better that we became good friends 😍


Well done dawn you have achieved so much along the way 🥰

Amanda HowesAmanda Howes

Their loss was our gain to have you back home. Inspiring not only new customers and locals with your fantastic eye for style and colour , but your goddaughter who now aspires to run her own business and values the importance in doing what is right for her no matter how challenging it may be. We are truly blessed xxx

Lynne Bentley

Well done Dawn, stepping away from the Dip Service and making a success of your new life. The overseas life is as good as you make it but, as you intimated, relies on a LOT on external influences. So are good but equally there are some (even now) not so good individuals and parts of the operation which make you stop and think !!!!!

So pleased for you and the success that you have forged for yourself.

Good luck with the business and continued success.

Onwards and UPwards …

Barry Davidson

Well done you – immensely proud of all your achievements and proud to call you my friend!


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